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Wed 18 Jun 2008 09:51 AM

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Damas plans Dubai IPO

Global jeweler and watch retailer to list 28% stake on DIFX to fund aggressive expansion plans.

Damas International, the global jeweler and watch retailer, announced on Wedneday plans to list a 28 percent stake in the company on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) to fund expansion.

The group published a preliminary prospectus stating an offer price range of $1 to $1.14 per share.

"Listing Damas represents a natural next step as we look to develop our business in both new and established markets," Damas Chairman Tawfique Abdullah said in a statement.

The group plans to target the GCC, North Africa and South Asia, he said.

Shares will be offered to Middle Eastern and international institutional investors outside the US, the company said.

Over 86 percent of the shares will be newly issued shares, and 13.6 percent will be secondary shares sold by Amwal Khaleej Commercial Investment Co. The Damas family will not be selling any of their shares in the jewelry company.

Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) and HSBC have been appointed to manage the share sale.

The Damas Group, a family business founded in 1907, has 438 stores in 18 countries and aggressive expansion plans in place.